I will now share with you a stat line that will tell you what you need to know about today’s game between Southern Miss and Rice:
Nick Mullens: 25-for-36, 591 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT
Tyler Stehling and Nate German: 16-for-20, 166 yards, 2 TD
Now, not to take away from Samuel Stewart’s 132 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, which isan excellent performance on any day. But when your defense allows almost 250 more yards passing than your offense accumulates in total, you did not have anything resembling a good day.
Southern Miss stopped trying towards the end of the game, yet they still managed to rack up 703 yards of offense. In the first half, the Golden Eagles drove inside the Rice 15 yard line three times and earned a total of six points, and they ran out the clock on their last drive into the red zone, and they still scored 44 points.
Southern Miss was sloppy today – Mullens tossed an interception, and Ito Smith fumbled twice (including the one at the three yard line at the end of a 54-yard catch), and the defense managed to give up two different pass plays of 25+ yards, both of which occurred on Rice scoring drives. Against teams like Rice with no defense, they can get away with things like this. I’m not sure that they play a really good defense the rest of the way outside of LSU so they’re in decent shape for now. They also have a few teams left that are appreciably better than Rice, so those kinds of mistakes have to stop happening if they want to stay ahead of the pack for the CUSA West title.
Rice was… well, Rice. They’re now 0-5 already, and it’s sad to say that with an upcoming schedule of UTSA andLa Tech, there’s an outside chance that they’ll be bowl ineligible by Halloween, which is not a good place to be. Especially if you are David Bailiff and trying to keep your job. It’s probably good that they’re heading into a bye week with an opportunity to try new things and see what they can discover before they play UTSA, but I also wouldn’t be completely surprised if Bailiff was out as coach by the time that game rolls around.